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Astronaut Hall of Fame reopens to public

December 13, 2002 — The Astronaut Hall of Fame, the newest attraction at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex chronicling the personal side of the NASA story, will open its doors to the public Saturday, December 14. A formal grand opening celebration and unveiling of new educational programs at the Hall of Fame will take place in Spring 2003.

The Visitor Complex acquired the Astronaut Hall of Fame in late September on behalf of NASA and made it a part of the Kennedy Space Center experience. Since then, the facility, located on State Road 405 in Titusville, Florida, has undergone over $700,000 in improvements, from new paint to upgraded computer systems.

"This is a proud moment for us," said Dan LeBlanc, chief operating officer of Delaware North Parks Services of Spaceport, operators of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA. "The Astronaut Hall of Fame tells the personal side of human space exploration history through astronaut-owned artifacts, interactive exhibits and astronaut training simulators. It's an excellent addition to the Visitor Complex experience, and a fitting complement to our existing hardware-themed exhibits, such as the Rocket Garden and Apollo/Saturn V Center. We're pleased to invite the public to experience this new Visitor Complex attraction and to be inspired by the human side of the NASA story."

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will now offer a new two-day "Maximum Access Admission" ticket combining the Visitor Complex and the Astronaut Hall of Fame for $31 for adults and $21 for children 3-11. The ticket, valid for two consecutive days, includes all Hall of Fame exhibits and simulators and all Visitor Complex attractions, including Astronaut Encounter, IMAX space films and the KSC Tour of restricted areas, plus special values on food and merchandise.

The Hall of Fame houses the world's largest collection of astronaut memorabilia, as well as tributes dedicated to the heroes of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Its exhibit hall houses an historic collection of spacecrafts, including a Mercury Sigma 7 capsule, a Gemini training capsule and the Apollo 14 command module. In "Simulator Station," realistic astronaut training simulators allow guests to feel the pressure of four times the force of gravity, ride a rover across Mars, and land a space shuttle.

"We're currently developing in-depth, experiential programs — for children and adults alike — that will take our educational offerings to a whole new level," LeBlanc said. "We'll unveil our new educational programs to the public during the Astronaut Hall of Fame's formal grand opening ceremonies next spring," he continued. The Visitor Complex's current educational programs attracted more than 100,000 participants last year and include Camp KSC spring and summer day camps; educational field trips; job shadowing programs for students with disabilities; Overnight Adventure campouts; and Salute to Scouts days.

Standard admission to the Visitor Complex is $26 for adults and $16 for children 3-11 and does not include the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame-only admission is $13.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 3-11.

Located 45 minutes east of Orlando, the Visitor Complex and the Astronaut Hall of Fame are open from 9 a.m. until approximately dusk every day except December 25 and certain launch days.

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